The Anonymous Widower

The Cross Barnet And Enfield Express

I grew up in Cockfosters on the boundary between the two London Boroughs of Barnet and Enfield.

I was in walking distance of Oakwood tube station and I used to use it regularly to go to school in Southgate, my father’s printing works at Wood Green or on very occasional trips to London. We weren’t a poor family, but until the 1960s, my parents had to count every penny, so often if I went to Central London, then we’d go on the 29 bus.

But it seemed a lot of the time, if we went anywhere on public transport, we used the 107 bus to go East to Enfield or West to Barnet, Elstree and Queensbury, if my father didn’t drive the family.

These days the route numbers have changed but when I went to Enfield last Monday, I went to Oakwood and used a bus to Enfield Town station to see the new Overground line.

The bus was moderately full and quite a few people were collected between Oakwood and Enfield, many of whom were on shopping trips to the town centre and others like me were going to the station.

In the 1960s, I used a 107 bus to get to my vacation job at Enfield Rolling mills at Brimsdown and the bus was used by many commuting to work along the route.

Now there are several high-frequency rail lines to Central London, that serve the historic 107 bus route in Barnet and Enfield. From West to East they are.

1. Elstree & Borehamwood on Thameslink – This is just to the West of the London Borough of Barnet.

2. High Barnet on the Northern Line of the Underground

3. New Barnet on the Northern City Line

4. Oakwood on the Piccadilly Line of the Underground

5. Enfield Chase on the Hertford Loop Line

6. Enfield Town on the Enfield Town branch of the Lea Valley Lines

7. Southbury on the Southbury Loop of the Lea Valley Lines

8. Ponders End and Brimsdown on the Lea Valley Lines

These nine stations have very limited car parking and if you bear in mind that the population of the Boroughs of Barnet and Enfield are both over 300,000, there will be a large number of people going regularly to Central London by public transport.

The only way to deal with those who want to drive to the stations, is to build a Park and Ride site in the area, as I proposed in The M25 South Of Waltham Cross or perhaps at Hadley Wood station, which would be difficult and probably resisted heavily.

As the services are improved on all the rail and Underground lines to Central London, it would seem not too outrageous to expect that more and more people will be using buses and probably bicycles and walking to get to the stations, as cars will not be  very easy.

Since, I moved away in the 1960s, there are now more circular bus routes linking the stations, so buses will definitely serve more residents and give them more options.

One thing that has changed dramatically since the 1960s has been the ticketing system. Travellers are also flexible with their plans and are very likely to go to and from London using different routes, which modern countless ticketing doesn’t discourage one iota or impose any penalties.

I can see a time, when the historic 107 route gets upgraded to handle increased traffic. In some countries like probably The Netherlands, Sweden or Germany, some form of light rail or tram would probably be built connecting all of the stations, but I don’t think this will be acceptable or feasible for a couple of decades.

However, buses like new Routemasters running frequently could act as traffic magnets and actually reduce the numbers of car commuters and help to increase the traffic on the rail lines.

It is going to be very interesting to see how the transport network in Barnet and Enfield develops in the next few years.

June 6, 2015 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Enfield is very well served with transport links and the 107 bus route is supremely useful for me as it stops at the end of my road. However I have only used it to go to High Barnet or Enfield. Perhaps I should venture further afield to Elstree or Ponders End.

    I’m not sure how it will be possible to reduce the number of car commuters. Road tolls? Free or very cheap public transport? Extortionate parking charges? A kind of ‘jeepny’ service that you could hail and hop on and off where you wanted, like they had in the Philipines?

    Comment by Pamela | June 9, 2015 | Reply

    • At some point I’m going to explore Ponders End. As my mother always said that she was a Ponders Plonker.

      Comment by AnonW | June 9, 2015 | Reply

  2. […] Circular routes were the real problem, as I wrote about in The Cross Barnet And Enfield Express. […]

    Pingback by Was It Wrong To Cancel The Northern Heights Plan? « The Anonymous Widower | February 23, 2018 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: